Nepal Travel advice
How to trek to Everest Base Camp
(Everest base camp trek/ Hiking booking open / joining offers 2019)
Mount Everest has captivated intrepid men and women since the 1920s. The exploits of legends such as George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay put the mighty mountain on the map; thousands have followed, making huge sacrifices – many with their lives – in their own attempts to the summit.
But today, the trek to Everest Base Camp has become an achievable goal for people from all walks of life who want a glimpse of the world’s highest peak. In 2012, between 35,000 and 37,000 people trekked in the Everest region.
What’s it like trekking to Everest Base Camp?
Aside from breathtaking scenery, travelers to the region can experience unique Sherpa culture by visiting monasteries and museums along the way. Days are filled with walking for the sheer pleasure of it, past colorful prayer wheels and across swing bridges straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, while evenings are rewarded with hot food and conversation with like-minded people around the dining-room fire.
The heady mix of natural beauty, fascinating culture and a personal sense of achievement, as well as warm Nepalese hospitality from the people of the Solu khumbu region, makes the Everest Base Camp trek one of the world’s most unforgettable.
When should I make the trek?
From March to May and from September to December. It gets hot in May, just before the monsoon season; be prepared for possible rain. December reaches below-zero temperatures but the days are still beautiful and there are fewer trekkers (but remember to wrap up warm in the evenings).
The Nepal government is considering making the hiring of a guide compulsory this season, after the disappearances of some lone trekkers and the death of a Belgian trekker in the Langtang region in June 2012.
But the solo trekking ban has been put on hold, so for now it’s still possible to go it alone. But hiring a guide or porter has many advantages: for US$15 to $25 a day you’re giving someone a valuable job and in turn you will learn plenty about the local culture and natural environment.
A trekking company offers the advantage of having everything arranged for you, including airport transfers, accommodation and porters and/or guides and their insurance. You’ll pay significantly less by booking in Kathmandu – ensure they’re registered with the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal or with Nepal Planet Treks and expedition
How do I get in shape?
Nothing can really prepare you for the trek’s extreme hills and altitude of up to 5545m. But don’t be put off – people with average fitness can do this trek. ‘Slow and steady’ is the key to achieving, and enjoying, your trek.
Prepare with cardiovascular training several times a week: cycling, swimming, hill climbing and lots of walking. Aim for a five-hour walk once a week. Seek out hills or find a tall building and repeatedly walk up and down the stairs.
Pack lightly – aim for 10 to 15kg. Consider your porter’s load before you include that big bottle of shampoo or pair of jeans.
A fleece jacket, down jacket and thermal underwear are a must, as the Himalaya gets cold above 3000m any time of the year. Also take two pairs of long pants, two or three T-shirts (synthetic fabrics – not cotton – that wick away sweat), and another warm jumper or light fleece.
Footwear requires lightly broken-in boots, trekking socks, and sneakers or sandals for evenings. You will also need a raincoat, gloves, woolen hat, sunhat and polarized sunglasses. A good sleeping bag (rated to -20°C/0°F) is essential; if it’s winter, a thermal liner makes it extra toasty.
Opt for travel-size toiletries, including a good sunscreen, lip balm, travel towel and tissues. Baby wipes are handy for days when you can’t shower.
Your first aid kit should include medication for diarrhea, antibiotics for a chest or sinus infection, and adhesive bandages for blisters. Visit your doctor for Nepal-specific immunizations. Using two 1L water bottles with water purification tablets is a reliable and safe way to drink water – and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water from lodges.
Staying healthy and safe on the trek
Take your time. Altitude sickness can affect anybody – even the extremely fit. (The acclimatization days, usually at Namche and Dingboche, are set for a reason.) Watch for signs of altitude sickness: symptoms include headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and breathlessness. Bring a supply of the medication Diamox for treatment; if symptoms persist, descend.
Be vegetarian. As tempting as it is to try a juicy yak steak or ‘buff burger’, be aware that all meat is carried up by porters from below Lukla due to the no-killing policy in Sagarmatha National Park, so by the time you have it, it’s getting old. The safest, healthiest option is to eat dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) – it’s made fresh daily and is a great source of protein and energy. As the saying goes, ‘Dal bhat power, 24 hour!’
EVEREST BASE CAMP ITINERARY 2019
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (flight) – Phakding
Day 2: Phakding – Namche Bazaar
Day 3: Namche Bazar (acclimatization)
Day 4: Trek to Tengboche Monastery
Day 5: Debuche- Dingboche
Day 6: Dingboche (acclimatization)
Day 7: Dingboche – Lobuche
Day 8: Lobuche – Gorakshep – Everest Base Camp – Gorakshep
Day 9: Kala Patthar (5,545m) – Pangboche
Day 10: Pangboche – Namche Bazaar
Day 11: Namche Bazaar – Lukla
Day 12: Lukla – Kathmandu (flight)
Airport pickup and drop-off ( by nepal guide info team) services in a private vehicle
Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu domestic airline tickets, including all airline taxes and fuel surcharges
Meals on a full-board basis (breakfast, lunch and dinner / main course) during the trek
Accommodation in tea houses / lodges along the trek as per the itinerary
Sagarmatha National Park entrance permits
Experienced, English-speaking, government-licensed and ministry of tourism trained trekking guide and Porter with meals,
accommodation, salary and insurance
An assistant trekking guide for groups over 8 people with meals, accommodation, salary and insurance
Down jackets, sleeping bags and duffel bags (down jackets, sleeping bags and duffel bags are to be returned after the completion of the trip nepal planet treks logo)
Daily seasonal fresh fruits as per the availability
A first aid kit carried by the guide. An American Medical Association approved oximeter to measure your oxygen and pulse in high altitude (imported from USA)
Necessary paper works, all government and local taxes
In a worst case scenario, rescue and medical evacuation arrangements
1 complementary dinner after arrival or before departure home in a traditional restaurant
International airfare, Nepal visa fees (two passport photographs required) and travel and medical insurance for emergency evacuation
Expenses of a personal nature (bars and beverage bills, dessert and snacks, hot shower, drinking water, telephone, internet, laundry, titbits, etc)
Costs arising from natural calamities, mishaps or anything beyond our control. Costs are non-refundable and non-transferable if you leave the trek voluntarily
Meals and accommodation in Kathmandu in cases of early returns and late departures
Services not mentioned in the ‘What’s Included’ section and referred to as ‘optional’
Porters available at an extra cost
Tipping is a culture in Nepal and is expected by your staff (guides, porters, drivers)
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